Lighting joints and marching in Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro streets, thousands of cannabis users marked the Global Marijuana March on Saturday (May 7).
The Global Marijuana March has been held in various cities worldwide on the first Saturday of May since 1999.
This year both Brazilian and Mexican protesters called for the decriminalization of the possession, cultivation, and consumption of medical and recreational cannabis.
“They (the authorities) must realize that we are not criminals. We are simply users of cannabis. We fight for our rights and being allowed to plant it instead of buying,” said Uriel Zeron, a 35-year-old Mexican musician and consumer.
At Rio’s protest, Brazilian lawmaker and former Minister of Environment, Carlos Minc, addressed the need to end the war on drugs.
“This war on drugs hits the poor, black, and youth from the suburbs directly, and that is what we want to end,” he said.
Last year, Mexico’s lower house of Congress approved a bill to decriminalise cannabis. Currently, legislation exists on medicinal cannabis use, but marijuana companies say they are too limiting.
In Brazil, the growing and possession of small amounts of marijuana and other drugs were decriminalized in 2006, but buying and selling remain illegal.
Additionally, a bill approved in 2021 authorizes the cultivation and commercialization of medicines that contain extracts or parts of the plant.